Think of a woman you know who tends to be pretty restless, fidgety, and never sitting still.
Is she overweight?
The explanation for this correlation--between constant movement and healthy weight management--is found in the term, "NEAT."
NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
This basically means any movement you do outside of your designated workout that burns calories and contributes to your overall health and wellness.
NEAT plays a huge factor in your weight loss or weight maintenance goals.
If you were used to eating 2,000 calories while living a very on-the-go lifestyle, but then suddenly take an office job and continue your same calorie intake, you can find yourself packing on the pounds pretty quickly.
It's important to assess what season of life you are currently in and what your realistic NEAT looks like in order to adjust your nutritional needs accordingly.
Maybe you work from home or have a job that offers you very few chances to move around. In this case where increasing your NEAT isn't even an option, you'd want to make sure you schedule several workouts per week to make up for that lack of movement during the day.
Or maybe you're in a super busy state currently where working out is the very last thing on your mind and is just "one more thing" to handle. In this situation, you'd want to up your NEAT and be wise about your nutrition so that you can still maintain your weight, even if you can't dedicate time to concentrated workouts.
In today's world where we can order everything we need without even having to step foot in a store, we can ALL probably benefit from actively trying to incorporate more NEAT into our lives.
There are MANY tips out there for increasing NEAT that we've heard time and time again:
-Park far away from your destination
-Take the stairs
-Go for a walk on your lunch hour, etc.
Those are incredibly effective ways to become more active, and I will add a few that I find helpful which might not be in your arsenal yet.
Ways to increase NEAT:
1.) Pair a mindless sedentary activity with an active one.
An example of this is to pace while you make phone calls or take a walk while listening to an audiobook.
2.) Create a routine.
Plan set times throughout your day to make sure you're moving. One example is to take a walk around the building before your 2:30pm coffee. It helps when you associate something you ALREADY do with getting some movement in. Use post-its or set a reminder on your phone to help establish the habit.
3.) Track your steps.
While I don't think a fitness-tracking device is necessary for everyone (I've been just fine without owning one), something as simple as a pedometer could motivate you to move around more. You might be surprised to see that your daily step count falls far below the recommended 10,000 per day.
There are thousands of calories you can be burning per week just by sneaking in more NEAT throughout your day!
Let me know if you try any of these and how it works for you :)